STUTTGART -- Ferdinand Piech's seat on the board of the holding company of Volkswagen Group's majority shareholder could be taken by his nephew, Josef Ahorner. The move would be a step toward the younger generation of the Porsche-Piech clan moving into key roles.
As Volkswagen CEO and later chairman over the span of nearly two decades, Piech played a key role in turning VW Group into the world’s largest carmaker.
Now after his latest feud with other members of the Porsche-Piech clan, Piech is in talks to sell his 14.7 percent stake in Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the investment vehicle that owns 52 percent of VW Group's voting stock. This means he will lose his claim to a seat on the Porsche SE board.
At Porsche SE's annual meeting on May 30, Piech's seat will need to be filled, along with that of his 77-year old cousin Hans Peter Porsche, who is in poor health.
Nominations must be sent to shareholders by April 18.
Porsche SE's controlling families plan to fill the two seats with a Piech family member and a Porsche family member to maintain the board's current balance as the clan slowly transitions to a younger generation of leadership.
Replacing Hans Peter Porsche is the easy part since he is expected to relinquish his seat to his only heir, Peter Daniell Porsche, a musical therapist, philanthropist and author of a book called "There's more to life than building cars."
Replacing Ferdinand Piech is more difficult. The likeliest candidates are his niece Louise Kiesling, who has a doctoral degree in vehicle design from the Royal College of Art in London, or her younger brother Josef Ahorner, chairman and main shareholder of Emarsys, a Vienna-based cloud marketing platform.
Both are children of Piech's older sister, Louise Daxer-Piech, who died in 2006.